Friday, August 24, 2007

Two Boys - Seventh Grade Criminals?

Did they bring a gun to school? NO

Did they deface school property? NO

Did they steal school equipment? NO

They were arrested and jailed for "butt swatting".

Dennis Prager wrote this article for Jewish World Review which is funny and sad and infuriating all rolled into one. It is just incredible what our education environments have degraded into.

Here's the deal:
"At Patton Middle School in McMinnville, Oregon, students created something called "slap butt day." On one such day in February 2007, according to The Oregonian (July 22, 2007): "Two boys tore down the hall of Patton Middle School after lunch, swatting the bottoms of girls as they ran — what some kids later said was a common form of greeting. But bottom-slapping is against policy in McMinnville Public Schools. So a teacher's aide sent the gawky seventh-graders to the office, where the vice principal and a police officer stationed at the school soon interrogated them."
Yes, a police officer interrogated them, and then read them their Miranda rights and then hauled them off in handcuffs to juvenile jail, where they spent the next five days.

Can you imagine that?

Is this what we have come to in our schools and our legal system?

And according to the article it got a lot worse. Those two seventh-grade boys were not permitted contact with their parents for 24 hours, and they were brought into court in shackles and jail garb, and they were strip-searched four times!

Apparently, this was not taken as an honest dopey middle school prank - these kids were treated to the full force of the law because the Yamhill County District Attorney, Bradley Berry, brought felony sex charges against the two boys, and then explained to the media that, "From our perspective and the perspective of the victims, this was not just horseplay."

Looks like the Yamhill County justice system has too much time and money on their hands, and very little common sense. And the fact of the matter is that the girls involved in the "butt slap" incident did regard it as horseplay and they were pressured into making a case against the boys. It seems that coercion is a common tool used in these institutions.

These poor lads and their families were subjected to enormous defense legal fees ($40,000) and have been made to appear as perverts and sexual predators and they could have been placed on sexual predator lists for the rest of their lives! Prager came to the boys' defense and many of his show's listeners sent letters of support for the boys.

Berry finally dropped the felony charges after great public pressure (and probably a touch of humiliation). The boys were then charged 'only' with sexual harassment. Bradley Berry ought to be punished for subjecting these two boys to such traumatic treatment, when probably all they needed was a good talking to by the principal or their parents if indeed "butt slapping" was so objectionable. I think what Bradley Berry and that school did amounts to nothing less than child abuse (and perhaps even torture and sexual abuse for being shackled and strip searched). They ought to be charged for those crimes.

Why oh why do we waste time with this nonsense? Bringing dopey seventh-graders into a court of law for such a crazy infraction, when clearly there are so many more serious crimes being perpetrated on our streets and in our towns? Do these idiot people have nothing better to do then to beat up seventh grade kids? Who are the real bullies here?

One has to wonder too, that when kids are treated like this it is no wonder that they turn into angry young men and women who abhor authority because that authority is so routinely abused and misused. It is one thing to do something stupid like "butt slap" day, but it is yet another thing to treat innocent middle school pranks like they are horrendous crimes against humanity.

It is yet another reason why I am so glad that my children are homeschooled and do not have to deal with the insanity of zero tolerance school rules and the ridiculous iron fist of administrators and their powerful and misguided enforcement of those rules. These people really need to take some courses in a common sense approach to dealing with today's youth, or one day they will find an angry young man shooting up their school.

I hope those two lads and their families and friends will be able to recover from their ordeal and be able to leave this nightmare in the past.

(H/T S. Mendelsohn)